Saturday, July 31, 2010

hot! wet! ants!

7/18 Chicago's Millennium Park and the big insect puppets

After a long visit with the stuff at the Chicago Art Institute we needed some place to eat our late lunch. Outside it was supper hot and sticky so it came as no surprise that the fountain at Millennium Park was full of people getting soaked. We sat near enough to the fountain to benefit from the cooling spray of the water cascade and gobbled our snack. I was impressed to see a big public fountain where people are not forbidden to get in, in fact they are encouraged to get wet. The insurance implications are astounding. The result is delightful. Watching the action around the big glass block towers is a treat and the squeals of the kids waiting for the big projected heads to squirt water is even better

Just up a few steps from the fountain is this big shiny thing.

It has an official name but out hosts said that most folks call it the jelly bean. It's big. And shiny. People crowd around it all day looking at the crazy reflection of the world. Nifty.

We were delighted to find out that we were right on time for a performance by the Catalan street theater company Sarruga. They put on a show of giant ants, a praying mantis, and a black spider in the park near the jelly bean. The puppeteers peddled their contraptions around through clouds of theatrical smoke and loud electronic music.

The heat and the noise eventually drove us underground back to the train that brought us into the city center, but the big bugs won't stay. They were only in town for a short visit.


  1. I love the fountain with its big heads! The "jelly bean" is great... no graffiti? I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the sun's reflection though. Be safe.

    And we're not losing you to Canada, are we?

  2. how many pervy entomologists are going to end up here when they type HOT WET ANTS into their browser????

  3. huh. I've never heard it called "the jelly bean". Everyone I know just calls it "the bean", though I guess Anish Kapoor (the artist) prefers it you call it by its name of "Cloud Gate" and thinks "the bean" is stupid.



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